Redefining the 21st Century Employee Experience

Employee Experience is sum of everything an employee experiences throughout his or her connection to the organization — every employee interaction, from the first contact as a potential recruit to the last interaction after the end of employment.” – Forbes Business Magazine.

 With the advent of ‘New Age People Practices’, the sole focus of forward thinking, global organizations has undergone a paradigm shift to enhance the experience of their people resources. In the current talent-driven marketplace where the quality of talent defines the success of an organization, employee engagement is minor as compared to the broad concept of employee experience.

The future of work which earlier was ‘need to work’ has now shifted to ‘why employees would want to work for you’ because employees today are the most important competitive advantage. In 21st century world, where money is no longer the primary motivating factor for professionals – ‘relevant, convenient and engaging work experience’ is what drives and motivates employees to achieve their full potential and drive business value.

A recent research showcases that organizations that invest heavily on Employee experience were included 11.5 times as often in Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work and listed 2.1 times as often on the Forbes list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies.  New age companies are going out of their way to provide an enriching employee experience. ‘First impression is a lasting one’ is the central philosophy while designing even the onboarding programs today. Organizations have started merging new age engagement practices and gamification to improve their employee experience strategies. Winning employers are defined by how they can create a human touch in their overall connect with potential and present employees. Top Leadership of global MNCs today invest majority of their times in fortifying the engagement experiences of their human capital. Companies who have failed to realize this differentiating factor has been unsuccessful in keeping up with pace of the dynamic culture today. The ‘Sense of Ownership’ is important for Millennials and the New Age Talents in what they do, hence continuously giving them challenging assignment that directly impacts the transformational changes in the business is critical for retaining and motivating them and I have personally experienced a lot of value creation through such actions.

Reward, Recognition & Empowerment is more sought after than mere monetary benefits – it is all about creating the ‘Moments that Matters’. Organizations who continually seek to identify and empower their high potential workforce stays ahead of the curve. For instance at Vedanta, we believe in the philosophy of creating ‘Leadership from Within’ while ‘Giving Edge to the Employee’s Aspirations’ – in line with this idea we have identified and elevated 500 high quality ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’ for key, critical leadership roles across the Group through our flagship ‘Internal Growth Workshop’ program. Our identified Leaders have been inducted in all key strategic initiatives for steering our growth journey to the next level and this has been one of the driving factor for our Group’s unprecedented growth in last few years.

To derive maximum value from our Human Capital, a structured Anchoring mechanism plays a critical role in channeling the focus of our employees in the right direction. It enables self-development and facilitates in fostering a channel for human connection in workplace. Our Group has designed a pan-organization anchoring initiative known as ‘V-Connect’ covering all our 12,000 professionals to create a further engaged workforce in this context.

I have witnessed closely that employees these days voluntarily want to be part of the initiatives that fosters ‘the Greater Good’. Young minds have approached me to be a part of our CSR initiatives, thus it has not only given them a chance to create a sustainable, marked difference in the society but also a chance to become a change agent.

Major MNCs have committed themselves towards promoting health and wellness among the employees, our pan-Vedanta ‘V-fitness’ program aims to address this and it is carried by respective business unit representatives. It has created an overall wellness architecture for the Group and has enabled significant engagement improvement among the employees.

A workplace today has multiple generations working together making it an inclusive eco-system –the task is to create an all-encompassing experience for all the levels of the organization. It is estimated that the gig economy will grow to around 50% by 2020. With the number of gig workers growing, organizations are revamping their working systems and upgrading their technologies to fit their needs.  Human Resources is more than a function, it is a distinctive capability which is embedded throughout the organization. Creating the eco-system which empowers, nurtures and develops its employees for enabling their growth is critical for today’s business success. Today’s diverse workforce have diverse expectations, there are generational similarities based on shared experience and age and addressing that will create a holistic solution to the employee experience paradox.

‘The only thing which would matter most going forward is how we create best experience for our bright minds through multiple avenues including voluntary participation in Community Development initiative. Joining hands in bettering personal and professional development of aspiring young workforce with much care and respect will be most crucial in this world of digital.’

It is predicted that by 2020, millennials are set to make up approximately 50 percent of the global workforce. For them a stimulating and engaging workplace, meaningful work and social environment is the key. New Age employees do not fit into the 9 to 5 mold, they need flexibility and autonomy. Digitalization, Automation and Gamification will play a critical role in addressing these diverse expectations in near future. It is important to understand the ‘Pockets of Value’ through the business outcomes an organization wants to achieve. It is important to create a sense of ownership via co-creating while designing the experience.

A culture of collaboration and HR will act as a fulcrum in providing the employee experience and integrating the innumerable upgradations and modifications in various systems. Change is pervasive and constant and using Change as a leverage for delivering differentiated employee experience. It is not about giving unlimited choices, it is always about providing the right choices.

Author-Praveen Purohit, currently heading various key initiatives across the HR function in Vedanta Group, has been associated with the organization for past 14 years. He has been an ardent advocate of new age of HR practices and throughout his diverse experience across multiple geographies, he has been learning and significantly contributing to the HR fraternity


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